Advertising 1865-1920s

Advertising Index Page

The Advertising Reporter.  Chicago: Publisher’s Commercial Union, 1888.

Alter, Stewart.   “Advertising and Corporate Mergers: An Examination of Editorial Coverage of the 1895–1904 Industrial ‘Trust’ Consolidation Movement in Contemporary Advertising-Trade Publications.”  PhD dissertation, New York University, 2009.

Badaracco, Claire H.  “Alternatives to Newspaper Advertising, 1890-1920: Printers’ Innovative Product and Message Designs.” Journalism Quarterly 67 (Winter 1990): 1042-1051.

Black, Jennifer M. “Corporate Calling Cards: Advertising Trade Cards and Logos in the United States, 1876–1890.” Journal of American Culture 32 (December 2009): 291–306.

Black, Jennifer M. “Branding Trust: Advertising, Trademarks, and the Problem of Legitimacy in the United States, 1876–1920.” PhD dissertation, University of Southern California, 2013.

Black, Jennifer M.  Branding Trust: Advertising and Trademarks in Nineteenth-Century America.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023.

Bogardus, Ralph F.  “Tea Wars: Advertising Photography and Ideology in the Ladies’ Home Journal in the 1890s.”  Prospects 16 (1991): 297-322.

Boorstin, Daniel.  The Americans: The Democratic Experience.  New York: Random House, 1973.

Boss, Henry R.  A Brief History of Advertising.  Chicago: Weston Printing Co., 1886.

Bradley, Patricia.  “John Wanamaker’s Temple of Patriotism Defines Early 20th Century Advertising and Brochures.”  American Journalism 15:2 (1998): 15-35. 

Burnham, John C. Bad Habits: Drinking, Smoking, Taking Drugs, Gambling, Sexual Misbehavior, and Swearing in American History. New York: New York University Press, 1993.

Calkins, Earnest Elmo.  The Business of Advertising.  New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1921.

Chapin, Christy Ford. “Wishful Thinking: Retail Premiums in Mid-nineteenth-century America.” Enterprise and Society 13 (December 2012), 790–831.

Cohen, Joanna.  Luxurious Citizens: The Politics of Consumption in Nineteenth-Century America.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017.

Cook, Daniel Thomas.  The Commodification of Childhood: The Children’s Clothing Industry and the Rise of the Child Consumer.  Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.

Davis, Gainor B.  “Demand at First Sight: The Centennial of 1876 as the Catalyst for the Consumer Revolution in Interior Design, 1876-1893.”  PhD dissertation, Temple University, 1999.

Dean, Patty.  “Furnishing Butte: Consumerism and Homemaking in the Copper Capital, 1909–1912.”  Pacific Northwest Quarterly 97 (Spring 2006): 78–89.   

deBower, Herbert F.  Advertising Principles.  New York: Hamilton Institute, 1919.

Domosh, Mona.  American Commodities in an Age of Empire.  New York: Routledge, 2006. 

Donahue, Kathleen G.  Freedom from Want: American Liberalism and the Idea of the Consumer. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.

Epp, Michael.  “Good Bad Stuff: Editing, Advertising, and the Transformation of Genteel Literary Production in the 1890s.”  American Periodicals 24:2 (2014): 186-205.

Epstein, Pamela. “‘Villainous Little Paragraphs’: Nineteenth-Century Personal Advertisements in the New York Herald.” Media History 18 (February 2012): 21–32.

Ewen, Stuart.  Captains of Consciousness: Advertising and the Social Roots of Consumer Culture.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976.

Foutch, Ellery E.  “Moving Pictures: Magic Lanterns, Portable Projection, and Urban Advertising in the Nineteenth Century.”  Modernism/Modernity 23:4 (November 2016): 733-769.

Fraser, Hamish.  The Coming of the Mass Market, 1850-1914.  Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1981.

Gabler, William G.  “The Evolution of American Advertising in the 19th Century.” Journal of Popular Culture 2 (spring 1978): 763.

Giggie, John M., and Diane Winston, eds.  Faith in the Market: Religion and the Rise of Urban Commercial Culture.  New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2002.*

Goldstein, Carolyn.  “Mediating Consumption: Home Economics and American Consumers, 1900-1940.”  PhD dissertation, University of Delaware, 1994.

Gordon, Ian.  Comic Strips and Commercial Culture, 1890-1945.  Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998.

Graff, Rebecca S.  Disposing of Modernity: The Archeology of Garbage and Consumerism During Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair.  Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2020.

Hale, Margaret E.  “The Nineteenth Century American Trade Card.”  Business History Review 74:4 (Winter 2000): 683-688.

Harris, Neil.  Cultural Excursions: Marketing Appetites and Cultural Tastes in Modern America.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.

Heinze, Andrew.  Adapting to Abundance: Jewish Immigrants, Mass Consumption, and the Search for American Identity. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.

Henning, Robert A., and Terrence H. Witkowski. “The Advertising of E. Remington & Sons: The Creation of an Iconic Brand, 1854-1888.” Journal of Historical Research in Marketing 5:4 (2013): 418-448.

Hepp, John Henry.  “Reordering Time and Space: The Middle Class and Commercial Culture in Philadelphia, 1876-1926.”  Phd dissertation, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 1998.

Jacobson, Lisa.  Raising Consumers: Children and the American Mass Market in the Early Twentieth Century.  New York: Columbia University Press, 2005.

Jay, Robert.  The Trade Card in Nineteenth Century America.  Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1987.

Kirschner, D. S.  “Publicity Properly Applied: The Selling of Expertise in America, 1900-1929.” American Studies 19: 1 (Spring 1978): 65-78.

Kitch, Carolyn. “A Genuine, Vivid Personality: Newspaper Coverage and Construction of a ‘Real’ Advertising Celebrity in a Pioneering Publicity Campaign.” Journalism History 31:3 (Fall 2005): 122-137.

Laird, Pamela Walker.  Advertising Progress: American Business and the Rise of Consumer Marketing. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.

The book Advertising Progress, by Pamela Walker Laird of the University of Colorado- Denver, offers a comprehensive, if sometimes cluttered, history of the rise of advertising as a profession and as cultural expression.  It also documents the dramatic change in the nature of marketing and distribution of consumer products during the period before 1920.  Constructed around the changing and contested concept of progress, the book traces a shift from producer-centered to consumer-oriented advertising, due in large part to changing perceptions of growth and industry, and growing professionalism in the field.  While arguing against simplistic determinism, Laird observes, however, that sweeping, and sometimes uncontrollable, forces such as industrialization, modernization and mass production created the market revolution that arguably necessitated the rise of modern advertising.  More readable than Daniel Pope’s The Making of Modern Advertising and meatier than Stephen Fox’s The Mirror Makers, the book succeeds as business history, and offers a useful and enlightening study.  The work lacks, however, the scope and depth of Jackson Lears’ Fables of Abundance and often does not fully make the leap to social or cultural history, leaving the ultimate meaning of the advertisements, and advertising itself, unexplained. Laird presents a thorough analysis of the shift in advertising practice over time.  Working with business records and material from the trade press, she documents the move from retailer-centered ads, announcing price and availability, to manufacturer-centered ads promoting name brand goods in national markets.  The research compares to Susan Strasser’s Satisfaction Guaranteed and does a fine job of exploring the rise of the mass market.  Progress in this period, reflecting the ideology of the producers, was defined by images of technological marvels, personal character and wealth of the manufacturers and a corporate vision of the culture of abundance.  Here Laird offers a thoughtful and compelling analysis of the underlying cultural meanings of advertising.  The great shift, however, takes place in the rapidly industrializing and incorporating 1880s and 1890s.  On one hand, the professional advertising agent appears, first as a space broker, then as a creator, to replace the owner-manufacturer as copywriter and visionary.  At the same time, changing social norms and conceptions of progress drastically alter the content and conception of advertisements.  Smokestacks and the thoughtful, bearded inventor are replaced by sleek “modern” design, commercial art, and psychology.  Advertising is focused on the consumer, seeking to appeal to and influence shoppers in a competitive marketplace.  Progress in this era became largely synonymous with consumption and advertising sought out ever-greater markets for consumer products, employing wider emotional appeal.    

Lauer, Josh. “The Good Consumer: Credit Reporting and the Invention of Financial Identity in the United States, 1840–1940.” Enterprise and Society 11 (December 2010): 686–694.

Lawson, Linda. “Advertisements Masquerading as News in Turn of the Century American Periodicals.” American Journalism 5 (1982): 81-96.

Lears, Jackson. “Packaging the Folk: Tradition and Amnesia in American Advertising, 1880-1940.” in Folk Roots, New Roots: Folklore in American Life. J. S. Becker and B. Franco eds. Lexington: Museum of Our National Heritage1988. 

Lears, Jackson.  Fables of Abundance: A Cultural History of Advertising in America. New York: Basic Books, 1994.

Levinson, Luna L.  “Images That Sell: Color Advertising and Boston Printmakers, 1850-1900” in Aspects of American Print Making 1800-1950, ed. James F. O’Gorman. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1988.

Liggett, Lori S. “Mothers, Militants, Martyrs, and ‘M’m! M’m! Good!’: Taming the New Woman; Campbell Soup Advertising in ‘Good Housekeeping,’ 1905–1920.” PhD dissertation, Bowling Green State University, 2006.

Livingston, James.  Pragmatism and the Political Economy of Cultural Revolution, 1850-1940.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.   Section One on the political economy of consumer culture.

McGovern, Charles Francis.  “Sold American: Inventing the Consumer, 1890-1940.” Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1993.

        This dissertation explores the key early period of advertising history in which the new advertising professionals vied with other social forces for authority in matters of consumption and purchasing behavior.  It is most valuable for its examination of the early anti-consumption movements, which would eventually evolve during the Depression into Consumers’ Research, the most visible and active pro-consumer organization of the pre-World War II period.  At issue was cultural authority, and the power to command attention that went with it.  For their part, the advertisers promoted mass consumption of branded goods as the solution to a whole range of real and imagined problems and sought to align the very concept of “American” with such purchasing habits.  Critics of consumerism and the power of advertising attempted to empower the consumer by engaging in product testing to counter false or misleading ad claims; this movement hoped to empower the outmatched consumer who faced a flurry of sophisticated advertising messages and was unlikely to be able to resist alone.  The tension between these two groups reached its peak during the 1930s Depression era battle over the Wheeler-Lea Amendment, which ultimately provided the government much weaker regulatory power than adverting critics had lobbied for.  Based on agency records and the papers of Consumers’ Research organization, this dissertation offers the fullest examination of the anti-advertising forces that waxed and waned in the wake of the rise of mass advertising.  It also offers a fairly thorough study of the effects of the Depression on the advertising industry, a topic which is commonly glossed over too quickly, and should be read in conjunction with Roland Marchand’s section on this in Advertising the American Dream and Inger Stole’s dissertation “Selling Advertising.”  Also valuable here is a discussion of “consumer citizenship,” the attempt to define being American as being a consumer of mass produced, branded goods.  

McGovern, Charles F.  Sold American: Consumption and Citizenship, 1890–1945.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006. 

Matt, Susan J.  Keeping Up with the Jones: Envy in American Consumer Society, 1890-1930.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002.

Mehaffy, Marilyn Maness. “Advertising Race/Raceing Advertising: The Feminine Consumer(-nation), 1876-1900.” Signs23:1 (Autumn 1997): 131-174. 

Meyers, Oren. “The Engine’s in the Front, but its Heart’s in the Same Place: Advertising, Nostalgia, and the Construction of Commodities as Realms of Memory.” Journal of Popular Culture 42:4 (2009): 733-755.

Murphy, E. J.  The Movement West: Advertising’s Impact on the Building of the West and the Years Ahead.  Denver: Sage Books, 1958.

Navon, Daniel. “Truth in Advertising: Rationalizing Ads and Knowing Consumers in the Early Twentieth-Century United States.” Theory and Society 46:2 (June 2017): 143-176.

Nelson, Elizabeth White.  Market Sentiments: Middle Class Market Culture in Nineteenth Century America.  Washington DC: Smithsonian Institute Press, 2004.

Olson, Erik L. “How Magazine Articles Portrayed Advertising from 1900 to 1940.” Journal of Advertising 24:3 (Fall 1995): 41-54.

Popp, Richard K.  “Making Advertising Material: Checking Departments, Systematic Reading, and Geographic Order in Nineteenth-Century Advertising.”  Book History 14:1 (2011): 58-87.

Presbrey, Frank.  The History and Development of Advertising.  Garden City: Doubleday, 1929.

Printers’ Ink.  “Fifty Years, 1888-1938.”  28 July 1938.  Special issue

            A brief historical account of the development of American advertising published with the 50th anniversary edition of Printers’ Ink.

Reed, David.  “Growing Up: The Evolution of Advertising in Youth’s Companion During the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century.”  Journal of Advertising History 10:1 (1987): 20-36.

Ringel, Paul B.  Commercializing Childhood: Children’s Magazines, Urban Gentility, and the Ideal of the Child Consumer in the United States, 1823-1918.  Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2015.

Robinson, Daniel.  “Marketing Gum, Making Meanings: Wrigley in North America, 1890-1930.”  Enterprise and Society 5:1 (March 2004): 4-44.

Rosenberg, Chiam M.  Goods for Sale: Products and Advertising in the Massachusetts Industrial Age.  Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007.

Rosner, Molly.  Playing with History: American Identities and Children’s Consumer Culture.  New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2022.

Schmidt, Leigh Eric.  Consumer Rites: The Buying and Selling of American Holidays. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995.

Schorman, Rob.  “The Truth About Good Goods: Clothing, Advertising, and the Representation of Cultural Values at the End of the Nineteenth Century.” American Studies 37:1 (Spring 1996): 23-49.

Schorman, Rob.  “Remember the Maine, Boys, and the Price of This Suit.” Historian 61:1 (Fall 1998): 119.

Schorman, Rob.   Selling Style: Clothing and Social Change at the Turn of the Century.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003.

Schorman, Rob. “Claude Hopkins, Earnest Calkins, Bissell Carpet Sweepers, and the Birth of Modern Advertising.” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 7 (April 2008): 181–219.

Schultze, Quentin J.  “Manufacturers’ Views of National Consumer Advertising, 1910-1915.”  Journalism Quarterly 60 (Spring 1983): 10-15.

Schweitzer, Marlis Erica. “Becoming Fashionable: Actresses, Fashion, and the Development of American Consumer Culture, 1893–1919.”  PhD dissertation, University of Toronto, Canada, 2005. 

Scull, Penrose.  From Peddlers to Merchant Princes: The History of Selling in America.  Chicago: Follett Publishing, 1967.

Shannon, Matthew A.  One Hundred Years of Premium Promotions, 1851-1951.  New York: Premium Advertising Association, 1951.

Sherman, Sidney A.  “Advertising in the United States.”  Publications of the American Statistical Association 7:52 (December 1900): 1-44.

Sivulka, Juliann.  Stronger Than Dirt: A Cultural History of Advertising Personal Hygiene in America, 1875-1940.  Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 2001.

         This history the “culture of cleanliness” is a relatively brief outline of what Sivulka sees as a major shift in American attitudes about personal hygiene and cleanliness in the years between 1875 and 1940.  The book is a general history of the rise of advertising for prominent soap companies like Ivory and Pears, but also moves beyond this story to encompass a broader story of emerging emphases on cleanliness, disease, and health.  Being and smelling clean became signatures of virtue and distinction that could set the individual apart from the “great unwashed” who lingered in the lower classes.  This was partially a response to scientific discoveries that dirt and germs led to disease, and partly a manifestation of Progressive Era attitudes about order, neatness and efficiency.  Soap manufacturers, who were among the first to advertise national, branded goods, were quick to capitalize on these trends and promote their products as the only sure way to avoid disease and, more importantly, embarrassment and social failure. This kind of advertising pressure lent itself well to scare tactics, which soap companies were not afraid to employ.  Sivulka also discusses rising expectations of cleanliness, in terms of personal hygiene, “healthy” appearance, and even in the bathroom itself.  Advertising plays a big role in Sivulka’s interpretation as a motivating factor in these changes.  Still, she does not argue that advertising itself created these social changes or that it was the sole factor that explains the rise of the cleanliness and beauty industry.  The book includes a chapter on specific characteristics of soap and cleanliness products for African-Americans.  Sivulka’s research is based in large part on the records of the J. Walter Thompson agency housed at Duke University.

Smythe, Ted Curtis.  “The Advertisers’ War to Verify Newspaper Circulation, 1870-1914.” American Journalism 3:3 (1986): 167.

Stage, Sarah.  Female Complaints: Lydia Pinkham and the Business of Women’s Medicine.  New York, 1979.

Starch, Daniel.  Advertising- Its Principles, Practice, and Techniques.  Chicago: Scott, Foresman, 1914.

Stokes, Melvyn and Stephen Conway, eds., The Market Revolution in America: Social, Political, and Religious Expressions, 1800-1880. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1996.*

Strasser, Susan.  Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market. New York: Pantheon, 1989.

Tangines, Helen.  Public Markets and Civic Culture in Nineteenth Century America.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.

Vos, Tim, and Li You.  “Justifying Commercialization: Legitimating Discourses and the Rise of American Advertising.”  Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 90:3 (Autumn 2013): 559-580.

Wills, Jeanie, and Krystl Raven. “The Founding Five: Transformational Leadership in the New York League of Advertising Women’s Club, 1912-1926.” Journal of Historical Research in Marketing 12:3 (2020): 377-399.

Young, James Harvey.  The Toadstool Millionaires. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961.

Yount, Sylvia.  “Give the People What they Want: The American Aesthetic Movement, Art Worlds, and Consumer Culture, 1876-1890.”  PhD dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1995.

 Zieger, Susan Marjorie.  The Mediated Mind: Affect, Ephemera, and Consumerism in the Nineteenth Century.  New York: Fordham University Press, 2018.

Advertising Index Page